When I first started gardening I was a complete newbie and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know a thing about how to grow my own food, and started by getting some potting soil and pots for my back porch. We enjoyed going out each day to tend to the garden and watch our food grow. Our family became addicted to gardening and kept adding new garden spots to our backyard each year. We eventually moved up to larger raised bed gardens where we needed to make our own soil mix.
One thing I didn’t know much about when I first started off was the kind of soil to use for my garden. We purchased cheap soil from a home improvement store and we didn’t get as great results as my other friends who had huge gardens. I found out that the secret to a great garden with lots of veggies was soil and composting! I first learned about making my own soil mix through The Square Foot Gardening method, when we started our raised beds.
Why is good soil important for a successful garden?
Soil types can vary depending on where you live. It can be hard to dig in the ground and create a garden without checking your soil or adding things to it to get it to the proper texture. I have had the most success by creating a mix of all the things that a garden needs and adding it to raised beds. One of the main ingredients that a good soil mix needs is compost!
Composting is a natural process that turns organic material from waste into a fertile and nutrient rich additive for your soil. Good compost will be dark brown, almost black with a nice, earthy scent. You can even grow things straight into good compost, but I like adding it to my soil to help enrich it. Now, you can purchase bags of different types of compost, or you can make your own at home. It is quite easy, and it’s a fun project to do with your entire family.
As a homeschool mom, I love to turn anything into a learning experience. Gardening can be such a wonderful learning experience and kids just love getting their hands dirty. It is one of those things that can easily lead to a wonderful science project and life schooling topic.
You are going to love all of these FREE Resources to Help Kids Learn About Soil and Composting:
Learning About Soil Resources:
Education.com has lots of Soil Worksheet Printables:
Learning About Composting Resources:
My girls love pulling weeds, and digging through the soil to find earthworms while we are gardening. The deeper you dig, the more earthworms they find. That is also where the richest and darkest soil is. The good soil that is being composted by the worms. You can take a simple thing like digging for worms in a garden bed and turn it into a unit study!
Check out all these fun resources on earthworms:
Books to help learn about composting:
Composting: Nature’s Recyclers Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the EarthKids Can CompostCompost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps Wiggling Worms at Work Square Foot Gardening with Kids: Learn TogetherIt’s a Good Thing There Are Earthworms
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!